Aaptiv: My favorite app of the year

My favorite app of the year 2017 is Aaptiv!

Aaptiv is a fitness app that helps you get most of your workout. The app has recorded audio sessions by professional trainers, who play you music, motivate and give you step by step guidance on how to have an effective workout.  It really works! I couldn't go on a treadmill for over 15-20 minutes, but with Aaptiv I've went up to 45 minutes. 

 Aaptiv allows you to choose from different workouts. Each workout has several sessions from multiple trainers. Image Credit: App Advice

Aaptiv allows you to choose from different workouts. Each workout has several sessions from multiple trainers. Image Credit: App Advice

Health and fitness is about motivation and determination. Most fitness apps help you track your calories or program your workouts, hoping that you’ll develop good habits. I tried using My Fitness Pal for quite some time, but couldn't keep up with recording what I eat everyday. Aaptiv really takes you out of your “planning couch”, and motivates you to achieve your goals!

The app has a variety of workouts from cardio to strength training and yoga. For each type of workout, you can pick from multiple trainers and often multiple playlists and level of workout - beginner, intermediate and advanced. The trainers are very personable too. Sometimes, when I’m just generally looking for motivation, I go to the gym and do my favorite workout. 

It was interesting to see how in a very competitive health and fitness market, Aaptiv has been able to get a good subscriber base. They started with very aggressive pricing. A 7-day free trial, and then just $49/year. I got an year subscription - it was a steal deal! Recently though, they have increased their pricing; moving up to the standard $10/month or $100/year. And, if you think Aaptiv is your life long companion, you can get a lifetime membership for $349 (The expected lifetime of a customer is just about 3 years! 🤔)

Not all’s great with Aaptiv though. If you miss what the trainer was saying, you need to pause what you are doing, pull out your phone, rewind and get going again! It happens all the time, and I wish they could just send me a notification on may Apple Watch when I have to change my speed on the treadmill or increase incline on the elliptical. In fact, this might also bring in people who want to play their own music, but want the trainer to structure their workout. I do see why Aaptiv wouldn't want to do that though; it's the motivation talk, and not just the workout programming that is core to their product. 

I also see a great opportunity to up sell here. With so many different workouts on the app, I’d love to get a personal workout plan that meets my health goals. While the trainers say you could reach out to them on e-mail, or Instagram (seriously!), I’m sure it’s too hard for them to respond to hundreds of people. Instead if they could charge me a little more, and provide some level of personal advice, I'd be down to pay the extra charge. Personal trainers are so expensive! 

There’s plenty of room of room for growth, and I hope future updates will offer more. 

Today at Amazon: Idea for an Amazon Store

I often stumble across products on Amazon or on websites (pointing me back to Amazon) that I never knew existed. Google "Top Kitchen Appliances", and you'll know what I mean. However, like any marketplace for contents or goods (see App Store, iTunes, YouTube), discoverability is a big challenge. While Amazon has several featured products on its homepage, I'm sure a lot of people just hit that search bar and get going.

How about Amazon has a big beautiful store, where products changed every week? The idea of this store is to provide small business owners and independent professionals a platform to showcase their products in an Amazon owned space. Much like an expo, where businesses could setup their stalls and promote their products. But, unlike an expo, this store would house featured products; every week new businesses would get an opportunity to showcase their products; it'll be a destination to discover new ideas and connect with people!

 If this were a Amazon Store.... The tables would be like individual stalls for each business. And, the wall on the right where Apple sells accessories and 3rd party products, could be a place to sell Amazon products. (I'm convincing a designer to do a mock-up for an Amazon store, but until then please ignore the Apple logo up there ;P)

If this were a Amazon Store.... The tables would be like individual stalls for each business. And, the wall on the right where Apple sells accessories and 3rd party products, could be a place to sell Amazon products. (I'm convincing a designer to do a mock-up for an Amazon store, but until then please ignore the Apple logo up there ;P)

But does, this make business sense for Amazon? I think it does. 

It strengthens our community:  Perhaps much debated and often said, "businesses are not just about making money". Many small businesses don't have the know-how to market their products, or just don't have enough budget to sell beyond their local markets. This store will be a way for Amazon to provide these businesses a platform and share knowledge on how to best market their products online. It will bring creators and customers together, creating a strong sense of community.

It builds the Amazon brand:  The store will be a one of its kind experience, and a way for Amazon to communicate a brand message. In times, when the sentiment is getting negative towards the internet, the store will be an example of companies like Amazon unlocks opportunities for people that previously weren't just inaccessible. 

It'll increase sales: When people come to this store and buy products, Amazon gets a cut on the sales. If these products get traction online, they sell even more! And, of course people can also buy Amazon branded products at this store all the year around. 

Traditional distribution channels favored large companies with abundant resources; but, Amazon unclogs the distribution bottleneck. It allows specialty coffee sourced by a coffee enthusiast in Florida, or a specialty belt designer in Ohio to reach out to millions of people without having to struggle to grab the limited shelve space.